Ocala, Fla.—Jan. 16
Lisa Goldman won three grand prix during her first appearance at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit last year, and hasn’t skipped a beat since. She returned with a bang this week, winning the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, to kick off grand prix competition at this year’s circuit.
Riding for her family-owned Red Coat Farm in Hawthorn Woods, Ill., Goldman piloted Centurion B to the win. Last year, Goldman and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding had a break-out season at HITS Ocala, which carried them to HITS-on-the-Hudson where they competed in the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix. “It was a lot of pressure—that was the biggest track I have ever jumped—and I survived,” joked Goldman about her million-dollar debut. “The Million was probably the biggest thrill since my first grand prix as an 11-year-old.”
Goldman and Centurion B topped a field of 33 competitors over a course designed by Doug Russell this week. “I haven’t seen a lot of big tracks since October, so everything seemed huge to me,” said Goldman. “My horses were outstanding—I thought they would be tired with a triple combination at the end of the course, but they held up beautifully.”
Goldman admits that Centurion B is special to her. “We have owned him since he was about 2, and I jumped his first crossrail with him,” said Goldman of the horse her mother purchased from Bannockburn Farm in Indiana a decade ago.
Goldman jumped clean in Round 1 on both Centurion B and Zacantos Z. She had purchased Zacantos Z during the 2013 winter circuit from Tammy McConnell and the big, gray gelding is one of 19 horses representing Red Coast Farm at HITS Ocala this year. “We are really starting to click,” said Goldman of the horse who stands about 17.2 hands. “We have won some top ribbons together, but this winter should be really exciting.”
In the jump-off, Goldman and Centurion B posted the only double-clear effort of the day; she also finished fourth with Zacantos Z with 8 faults,